Baldassarre Galuppi was considered the leading exponent of Venetian comic opera, if not the absolute creator. Though he was shortly forgotten after his death, opera buffa gave him international fame, and it's only recently that his serious operas have begun to receive serious attention. Composed according to tradition, with the use of new arias displaying various affetti (fury, contrast, outrage) as well as others borrowed from contemporary operas, this dramma per musica is a consistent work, where music and text are one, and the seven characters and their emotions are strongly portrayed. The opera takes place in Olimpia during the games, and focuses on a complicated love intrigue. Megacle and Aristea are in love, but the maid is also loved by Megacle's friend Licida. Megacle owes his life to Licida, and therefore to honour this friendhip he is forced to win his beloved's hand for him. The situation gets more complicated, tragedy seems to darken the horizon, but the final happy ending settles things. Pietro Metastasio wrote the libretto in Vienna in 1733, and many musicians put it in music: among the most famous Vivaldi, Pergolesi and Paisiello.
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